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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Viber confirms service jam in Gambia

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The company said it has been brought to its attention that “features of the Viber application have been blocked by your country [The Gambia]. 

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“It seems that the features of the Viber application have been blocked by service providers or by the country. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything else about this blockage, and there is nothing much we can do about it. We hope that this issue is resolved and that you are able to use Viber in the near future,” the company stated…”  

It said it had received reports and complaints from “many users that Viber is blocked in The Gambia”, and that their investigations have confirmed this.

A little over two months ago, communications officials denied blocking the Viber services in the country. But Viber company is maintaining that governments and internet service providers reserve the right to do so. But speaking to this paper when the matter was earlier reported, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Lamin Camara, had denied that the services were blocked and rather blamed the service’s direct non-availability on “hiccups or technical faults with networks.”

“Some service providers have erratic networks which are also affecting the quality of calls their subscribers can make through Viber. Issues like traffic congestion affect the quality of their calls – be it Viber or others… and they want to blame it on government. I can tell you that there is nothing on the side of the government to block the service,” Camara had said at the time. 

However, The Standard has learnt that some users continue to use the services by using proxy servers.

Viber was founded and co-owned by four Israeli partners: Talmon Marco, Igor Megzinik, Sani Maroli and Ofer Smocha with Marco serves as its chief executive officer.  Viber Media Inc develops and provides applications for smartphones, which allows users to make free calls and send text messages to each other. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in Limassol, Cyprus. Today, it has millions of users around the world. On 14 February 2014, the start-up was acquired by Japanese Rakuten  for US$900 million.

 

By Sanna Camara

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